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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  April 3, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the
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crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> and now, "bbc world news." tim: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am tim willcox. 10 people are dead, dozens injured by a blast in the metro of the russian city of st. petersburg. president trump pledges he will go it alone to combat nuclear threats posed by north korea. and the banksy of punctuation -- the british man righting the wrongs of bad grammar.
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tim: hello, and welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. an explosion on the metro in the russian city of st. petersburg has killed 10 people and injured dozens more. the blast coincided with a visit by president putin to the city . prime minister medvedev has condemned the incident as a terrorist attack, but other possible causes are being investigated. the explosion happened on the train and another explosive device was found and made safe at a nearby station. our correspondent steve rosenberg sent this report. steve: a woman is shouting, "are there any children?" a train carriage toward to -- form to shreds -- torn to shreds, and a desperate effort to pull people from the wreckage. from the safety of a passing train, hint of the devastation it is leaving behind. at least 10 passengers were
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killed today and dozens more wounded. the blast occurred in the tunnel, but the wrecked train sped on and managed to reach the next station. this was the scene one stop behind. the platform filled with thick, choking smoke, and the stench of explosives. >> there was a huge bang. it was deafening. i was sitting next to a metal railing and i think it saved my life. everyone was knocked in one direction by the blast. steve: emergency services were on the scene fast, and from this underground hell, the wounded were helped to the surface and to safety. adding to their physical injuries was a deep sense of shock at what had happened. a spokesman for russia's antiterrorism committee said the train had been blown up by an unknown explosive device. special units of security forces, he said, were being dispatched.
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the st. petersburg metro went into emergency lockdown. all passengers evacuated, all stations closed and searched. later it was revealed that an explosive device had been discovered at another metro station in st. petersburg. this one was made safe. it was confirmation that today's explosion had been a deliberate attack. russian president vladimir putin was in st. petersburg today. his meeting with the president of belarus overshadowed by the tragedy across town. "the police and special services would do all they could to find the cause of what happened," president putin said, and he promised support for the families of the victims. russia says this was an act of terror. so who carried it out? russia has made enemies with its bombing campaign in syria. in recent years, the country has been targeted by islamist terrorists. in 2015, a plane carrying
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russian holidaymakers was blown up over sinai, killing 217 passengers and crew. so-called islamic state said it planted the bomb. the russian president vladimir putin visited the metro station where the bomb's train had ended its journey, and paid his respects. for the victims of this attack, st. petersburg has declared three days of mourning. the metro is the lifeblood of the city, and an act of terror on a train has left people here fearing more violence. a short time ago i spoke to steve in st. petersburg. if confirmed to be a terrorist attack, it would be the first major one for about four years in russia. yes -- steve: yes, absolutely, the first attack on the st. petersburg metro, which has come as a shock to the people of this city because they rely on this underground train network.
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2 million people use it every day. so the fact that such an important part of their lives came under attack has really shocked people. and tonight, there have been reports in the russian media that possibly a suicide bomber carried out this attack. those reports are unconfirmed. but certainly what they can confirm is that security has been stepped up not only in this city but also across russia tonight. tim: suspicion presumably turning to either islamic state or some sort of chechen connection. what more is being said there? steve: not a lot is being said officially, but yes, suspicion would fall certainly on islamist terrorists. there is no doubt that russia made a lot of enemies with its military campaign in syria. we think back to 2015. there was an attack on an airplane carrying russian holidaymakers back from egypt.
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more than 200 people were killed when a bomb blew that plane out and so-called islamic state said it planted that bomb. we think back to december of last year when the russian to turkey was gunned down by a man saying this was revenge for syria, a little bit suspicion -- so that is why suspicion would fall on islamic state. -- islamists and terrorism. but officials are being cautious and are not giving any details. investigation is just getting underway. tim: steve rosenberg in st. petersburg, thank you very much. with increasing frequency of missile tests fueling a growing sense of urgency about what to do about north korea, president trump has pledged to go it alone and tackle any nuclear threats posed by the state. in an interview with the "financial times" newspaper, mr.
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trump insisted that if china is not going to solve north korea, "we will." his remarks came as he plans to meet chinese president xi jinping later this week. a little earlier i spoke to christopher hill, former u.s. ambassador to south korea. what is your reaction to president trump's comments? mr. hill: as often with his comments, it is not clear what he has in mind. on one hand he did say he wants to work with the chinese and that would be the right way to go. on the other hand he suggested that if not, we will just go it alone. "go it alone" is fraught. certainly there is a view that this means a military approach, but i can assure you there is no military approach without going along with south korea. it is not at all clear what he is trying to say but i think he is trying to kind of get the chinese focused on the youth of -- on the eve of the meetings in mar-a-lago and see if he succeeds with that. tim: yeah, because conventional thinking would be that china has to take a lead role in imposing further sanctions against north
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korea. mr. hill: absolutely, and in many respects, at least in the last few decades, north korea has been their project and they have better access to the north koreans than anyone else. on the other hand, in the last five years, with the ascendancy of kim 3.0, that is, kim jong-un, the chinese have not had good relations with him and have not even seen fit to invite him to china. there are limitations, but that said, they can probably do more on sanctions and probably have it be done in a way that is decisive. tim: any military action would not only be risky but also potentially very bloody, in terms of what the north could inflict on south korea. mr. hill: well, you know, like a lot of questions, you start with a map, and you see 20 million south koreans within artillery range of 14,000 north korean artillery tubes.
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so the notion that you could have a military solution and not have civilian casualties is really not accurate. tim: and yet this is a pressing diplomatic concern. president obama's final message , i think, to president trump warned him about north korea. how close are they to developing a miniature nuclear warhead? mr. hill: it is hard to say, but judging from the fact that they increased the number of nuclear tests -- two in 2016 -- and it is believed they will have another soon in 2017, and they have also been testing more advanced rocketry, including solid fuel rockets and multistage rockets, it is pretty clear that they are aiming to have a deliverable nuclear weapon. i would say certainly it is pretty certain to come during the trump administration. if i were president trump, i would not like to face the american people in 2020, 3.5
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years from now, and try to blame this all on his predecessor. i think the american voters will look at him and say, what have you done? tim: ambassador hill, thanks very much indeed for joining us on the program. mr. hill: thank you, my pleasure. tim: you are watching "bbc world news america." ombia have begun the heartbreaking task of bearing their loved ones killed in the flooding and landslides. more than 250 people are confirmed to have died. the rescue operation continues. the likelihood of finding survivors is fading. short time ago i caught up with the bbc's laura bicker. how many people are still missing, laura? laura: over 100 people still missing, from what we understand. we heard that from president santos within the last hour. he has come here and the entire -- he is due to come here to speak. the entire rescue effort is coordinated in this square
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, and within the last few minutes, the first of the funerals. a silent parade behind the coffin, where they carried tiny flowers with their heads bowed. just near here as we were coming into the town, a huge queue outside the cemetery, with people with masks on. that is where they have the tough task of trying to identify their loved ones. the search and rescue teams have been working tirelessly to try to find anyone who may be left in the mud. but for days, many of them have been tearing at that mud with their hands. it is a coordinated effort, but with each hour goes by, i'm sorry to say that the chances of finding anyone alive diminishes. this is one of the worst natural disasters colombia has seen, and it is an area very used to disasters. the mountain you can hopefully see behind me, there are five rivers come together and they have an unprecedented amount of rainfall. president santos is visiting
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here, his third day in a row. he is trying to talk to people here coming to terms with the death who need to prepare themselves for the prospect of disease. they are handing out sanitation kits to try to prevent disease because as you arrive the smell is horribly overpowering. so as you can imagine, this is a town trying to come to terms with death and now has a more difficult prospect as they bury the loved ones and come to terms with their loss. tim: laura bicker, thank you very much. one of saudi arabia's most senior generals has defended his country's actions during the increasingly brutal war in yemen that has left 10,000 people dead and displaced more than 3 million others. the major general told the bbc that lessons have been learned where civilian casualties were inflicted. the general was talking to our
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correspondent, who sent this report. reporter: these are the faces of yemen's starving children. an aerial naval blockade imposed by the saudi coalition, and houthi rebels slowing down the distribution of aid, has meant that the hungry have seen no relief. the city is home to yemen's busiest port, with all five cranes destroyed. new cranes have been blocked. leading the government's campaign in yemen is this general brigadier. we want to know why cranes that could be providing life-saving aid, food, and fuel for the people have been sent back. >> because we do not want to enhance the capabilities of the houdis -- reporter: even at the expense of starving the yemeni people? >> no no no, there is no starvation. in those areas controlled by the government. you should have and the other international committee interest
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to see this war end. if we continue to sustain the militias with food and fuel and money and women, they will not stop and not go to the table for negotiation. reporter: the saudi-led coalition has been accused by human rights groups of using cluster bombs in civilian areas. this violates international law. in 2010, the u.k. signed a treaty to stop the use of its cluster munitions, but some have been used in this war. until recently, the saudi government repeatedly denied using cluster bombs at all. i just want to know why it took so long to tell the truth about these munitions in yemen. >> but let me tell something, you use "cluster munition" as if it is a chemical weapon. no, it isn't. military capabilities used by all air force in the war and manufactured by different countries. it doesn't mean that because u.k. decides to stop using come
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all countries will stop it. reporter: but it is banned to use them in civilian areas -- >> no. reporter: in civilian areas. >> you are conveying wrong information. reporter: so you are allowed to use them in civilian farmland? >> no, listen to me. no, no, you cannot -- in the capital -- it was documented by amnesty and human rights. >> no, this is not true. reporter: since the war in yemen began, u.k. has sold over 3 billion pounds worth of arms to saudi arabia. pressure on the bush government -- pressure on the british government is building, and human rights groups are calling for the transfers to be suspended. >> when people say "arming the saudi," no, we sign contracts country to country. we pay money. and we enhance our military capabilities. the perception that people have
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that the u.k. gives us free weapons -- no, we pay those. if the u.k. decides tomorrow to stop sending weapons to the kingdom, we will find another supplier. reporter: two years into this war, neither side has made any concessions and for the people of yemen, the suffering continues. tim: you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come, the joy of parenthood with a bit of help from science. embryos frozen are fueling a baby boom in china. the huge task of sifting through ferry hasage of the begun in south korea. the ship sank three years ago, killing more than 300 people. it is hoped that the search will recover the bodies of victims that are still missing.
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steve evans has this report. steve: it is a test of the greatest emotional and engineering magnitude. the vessel is more than the lens of a football field. when it is empty, and weighs nearly 7000 tons. with cargo in it, 13,000. the task is to bring it up short. died.where 304 people the emotional delicacy is immense. it was brought ashore on a special salvage platform, which was lowered and inserted underneath. now it is at the wharf, it is being emptied. mud will be sifted for signs of the nine people still unaccounted for. holes are being drilled to release water to get the weight down so it can be moved ashore. the most amazing part of this
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operation is that it will be turned, and then raised slightly, and then these flatbed trucks will be slid under. it will be lowered and pulled ashore. the total cost may be nearly $100 million. for the nine families never found their loved ones, every cent is well spent. there is no final decision yet on what will become of this is laughter it has been examined. will it be broken up and sold for scrap? will it be preserved for posterity? the families will be watching closely. there is a lot more politics in this yet to be done. tim: just over a year since china dropped its controversial one-child policy because of concerns about declining numbers
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of people of working age, it appears to be having the desired effect. with nearly 18 million births last year, nearly half of those was with mothers who already have at least one child. as china editor carrie gracie reports, there has been a rush of older parents using frozen embryos to expand their families. carrie: hearbeat of an imminent arrival, the ultrasound scan of a 48-year-old mother-to-be. she had her first child through fertility treatment 16 years ago. the hospital kept her frozen embryos, and now that china's one-child policy has become a two-child policy, she is about to have her second miracle baby. more good news. it is a boy.
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she tells me she is thrilled. she's got a daughter already and would be happy with another, but the in-laws want a grandson. a two-child family is still a great novelty here, so a big fuss at the clinic for a special visitor. especially as this miracle was conceived here in a petri dish and frozen as an embryo for years, until china's policy changed and she could become somebody's little sister. >> as soon as i heard about the policy change, i was terribly excited. i ran to the hospital immediately. my second child had been frozen there for too long. i couldn't wait to take her home. carrie: not everyone is so lucky. this woman is desperate to have a second child but there is
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question over whether her embryos are viable. >> i only have three embryos left. the doctor says one is good, one is average, one is poor. but i stay optimistic. i hope heaven will give me this gift. carrie: blessings born from frozen embryos, many of them second children, after last year's policy change. all the mothers with fertility problems are suddenly at an advantage, because they have frozen embryos to fall back on, where other older women don't. back home and getting ready for the new arrival. baby clothes from the first time around 16 years ago. hospital bag ready for the birth. and she has already decided if the two-child policy becomes a three-child policy, she will go
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for a third. carrie gracie, bbc news. tim: if you are the kind of grit theirhas to teeth if you see a grammatical error, we have just the story for you. one of have to address our own producers as well. of streets the signs and shop fronts. we have tracked down the mysterious individual, who describes himself as a grammar vigilante. reporter: he is the banksy of bad punctuation, roaming the streets of bristol righting wrongs. >> i'm a grammar vigilante. i've been doing it for quite a lot of years now. i think it is a cause worth pursuing. reporter: at home, he makes
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sticky punctuation marks. he has even invented a tool which he calls the apostrophizer. a quick demo on a dining-room wall. >> apply this end here. reporter: by day he is a highly qualified professional. only his family know what he is up to after dark. he started his campaign 13 years ago. this was the first sign he tackled, "amy's nail's." apostrophe deleted. elsewhere he has added to them, leaving his mark all over bristol. there are some people who say we didn't ask you to do this, what you are doing is a crime vandalism. what do you say to them? >> it would be more of a crime
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if the apostrophe is wrong in the first place. reporter: there is one sign he has been desperate to correct for years, "cambridge motor's," with apostrophe-s. >> this is just wrong. it is not meant to be like this. reporter: it is right outside bristol prison. built trestle, he climbs up, cut that piece of yellow sticky back plastic to size, and covers the rogue apostrophe. notice anything? >> not really, no. >> i thank him for what he has done. it is good to still see people caring about english grammar, isn't it? reporter: when you go past a sign you have corrected -- >> the word you are looking for is "pride." tim: time to check your own
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punctuation, as we need to hear. that is the end of today show. you can find more on our website, bbc.com/news. for me, tim willcox, and the whole team, thanks for watching. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days,
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cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> yang: good evening, i'm john yang. on the newshour tonight, president trump welcomes egyptian president abdul fattah el-sisi to the white house as the administration signals new u.s. priorities. also ahead this monday, as the trump family's role expands in the white house, a look at ivanka trump and jared kushner's places in the new administration. >> the bush white house-the obama white house, were stocked with experienced people who had careers as public servants. now, the trumps came in with the promise to change that paradigm. >> yang: and, combating india's trash problem: how one company is trying to reduce the huge landfills that are wreaking havoc on india's most populous cities. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.

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